The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Sports

March 27, 2013

Coaches survive show-cause orders

— COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Few words are less welcome to college basketball coaches than "show cause," shorthand for the NCAA penalty designed to keep those sanctioned for misconduct at one school from quickly jumping to another campus.

Yet an Associated Press review of infractions cases since 2000 found that show-cause orders tend to have a sharply uneven impact.

Of the 44 former men's basketball coaches given show-cause orders since 2000, at least 25 found other basketball jobs, usually after the orders expired. Some remained involved with big-time programs, while others labored in obscurity at junior colleges, high schools or AAU programs. A few have found second acts in the NBA or as TV analysts.

Head coaches hit with show-cause orders tend to fare far better than the assistants deemed complicit in their misdeeds, the AP found.

Take former Tennessee coach Bruce Pearl. A three-year, show-cause order in August 2011 for lying to NCAA investigators about improperly hosting recruits at his home didn't keep him from joining ESPN as a college basketball analyst little more than a year later. That was after a stint at Sirius Radio.

Former Pearl assistant Steve Forbes, who was handed a one-year order, is head coach at Northwest Florida State College. His top assistant is Jason Shay, who also left Tennessee with a one-year show cause. Tony Jones, a third Pearl assistant who received a one-year order, is a preps coach in Alcoa, Tenn.

Washington State assistant Ray Lopes joined the Cougars in May 2012 after a pair of show-cause orders given to him for making hundreds of impermissible recruiting phone calls — first at Oklahoma from 1995 to 2002 under Kelvin Sampson, and then again as Fresno State's head coach several years later.

"Many, many doors were shut on me out of fear, because of the show-cause tag on my resume," said Lopes, who started his climb back to the college ranks as an associate coach in the NBA D-League. "I was basically not worth taking a chance on, even though I had developed a pretty good reputation. None of that seemed to matter ... I almost gave up hope."

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